The Guardian reports: Two days before Mosul fell to the Islamic insurgent group Isis (the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant), Iraqi commanders stood eyeballing its most trusted messenger. The man, known within the extremist group as Abu Hajjar, had finally cracked after a fortnight of interrogation and given up the head of Isis’s military council.
“He said to us, ‘you don’t realise what you have done’,” an intelligence official recalled. “Then he said: ‘Mosul will be an inferno this week’.’
Several hours later, the man he had served as a courier and been attempting to protect, Abdulrahman al-Bilawi, lay dead in his hideout near Mosul. From the home of the dead man and the captive, Iraqi forces hoovered up more than 160 computer flash sticks which contained the most detailed information yet known about the terror group.
The treasure trove included names and noms de guerre of all foreign fighters, senior leaders and their code words, initials of sources inside ministries and full accounts of the group’s finances.
“We were all amazed and so were the Americans,” a senior intelligence official told the Guardian. “None of us had known most of this information.” [Continue reading…]